Australia shares edge up before earnings, CBA at all-time high
(Adds details, comments, stocks on the move) SYDNEY, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Australian shares inched up 0.1 percent on Tuesday, led by the financials sector, after Wall Street ended an uneventful session and investors waited on corporate earnings results ahead of a busy reporting week. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia's top lender, led the gains ahead of its first half results on Wednesday, rising 0.4 percent to an all-time high of A$65.41. National Bank of Australia bucked the trend, falling 0.6 percent. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was 6.6 points higher at 4,966.1 as of 0024 GMT. The benchmark fell 0.2 percent on Monday in thin trade. U.S. stocks ended a quiet session with slight moves on Monday as investors found few reasons to keep pushing shares higher following a six-week advance, though the longer-term trend was still viewed as positive. "I think it's quite encouraging that we haven't quite played follow the leader even though we did see a little bit of weakness coming through from the U.S. and European markets," said Juliette Saly, stock market analyst at Commonwealth Securities. "Investors are pretty much focused on local events and we have seen good profit results so far this week, (and) there's a lot of hope that what we see from the other big names later this week will also be quite strong." Apart from Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Rio Tinto, Wesfarmers and Westfield are also due to report their results this week. The retail sector was firm. Electronic goods retailer Harvey Norman jumped 1.3 percent while David Jones and Myer were up 1.1 percent and 0.4 percent respectively. Global iron ore miners were slightly down, with BHP Billiton Ltd trading flat while rival Rio Tinto Ltd slipped 0.5 percent. Gold miners were softer, after the bullion fell to a one-month low on Monday, hit by techinical selling after prices slid and as investment appetite for physical metal dropped. Newcrest Mining dropped 2.2 percent while Regis Resources tumbled 3.2 percent. Defensives were mixed. Supermarket giants Woolworths Ltd was up 0.3 percent while Wesfarmers Ltd was trading flat. Australia's no.1 telecommunications giant Telstra climbed 0.5 percent. New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index was trading flat, up 1.8 points to 4,222.3. STOCKS ON THE MOVE * Whitehaven Coal surged 6.8 percent to A$3.16 after the Australian government gave conditional approval to its key growth project, the Maules Creek mine, which the company aims to open in 2014. (0021 GMT) * Bradken soared 10.2 percent to a nine-month high of A$6.72. The mining and power equipment maker said its order books have stabilised and there is evidence to suggest it had reached the bottom of the current cycle as it reported its first-half results. (0022 GMT) * Yancoal Australia dropped 5.3 percent to A$0.80 after it said it was looking for a new chief executive, with CEO Murray Bailey stepping down in July amid reported tensions with the company's Chinese board. (0024 GMT) (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.